MPs’ hectoring and political posturing on legal tax avoidance is “misguided and disingenuous,” says the boss of the world’s largest independent financial advisory firm.
The chief executive of the deVere Group, Nigel Green, has spoken out after a The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) said in its report out today that it is “very concerned” at the way the so-called Big Four- Deloitte, Ernst and Young, KPMG, and PricewaterhouseCoopers – are able to exploit loopholes in the tax laws.
Mr Green said:
“The political rhetoric on the issue of legal tax avoidance should stop.
“MPs are seemingly on a witch-hunt for companies and individuals who are complying with laws that they, as politicians, could reform if they wished.
“It’s misguided and disingenuous to suggest that it is in some way wrong to advise a client on how they can legally reduce their tax burden.
“Knowing that mitigating tax is indeed perfectly legal, recently, the same group of MPs accused the likes of Starbucks, Google and Amazon of acting immorally over their tax affairs. They are not acting immorally, they’re acting legally.
“Tax should never be a ‘moral’ issue – it is a legal impost, set out by the state. Firms and individuals should pay what is required to by law – and not a penny more as it is tax, not a charitable donation – and if they then fail to do this, they should be prosecuted.”
“Perhaps MPs’ would be better to target their ‘concerns’ towards other countries, such as Holland and Ireland, which attract businesses and high net worth individuals by offering lower tax rates?”